2008 was an astoundingly busy year. Christmas Island. The Netherlands. Tofino, B.C. Egypt. (Tube up my nose to pump my stomach after Egypt.) Majorca. Montreal. The Dolomites. And of course, book launch and tour. But the year ended with a life-changing event much closer to home. In late-November, my sister-in-law, Sareana, was diagnosed with brain cancer. Out of the blue. Scary as hell. She has had an astoundingly rapid--and essentially complete--recovery from surgery to remove the tumor. Next comes months of treatment to nuke the cancer completely. 2009 won't be easy for Sareana and the family, but she is a strong and loving person, and her attitude toward what has happened and what lies ahead is inspiring. To read about her experience, check out her blog, Notes from Sareana.